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Corporate news review Friday 15th September 2017

Image result for aviva logoAviva AV. has completed the sale of its 50% shareholding in life insurance and pension joint ventures Unicorp Vida and Caja España Vida, as well as its retail life insurance business Aviva Vida y Pensiones, to Santalucía. Total consideration of the transaction is €475m (£424m).

Image result for avon rubber logoAvon Rubber AVON issues a pre-close trading update ahead of its year end close on 30 Sept 2017. Trading in the second half has been good across the Group and Avon expects FY adjusted PBT to be in line with current market expectations, with continuing strong cash generation.

Image result for Edenville Energy logoEdenville Energy EDL reports interims. CEO Rufus Short said: “The first half of 2017 was an extremely busy and transformational period for the Company. Having raised funds in February to start production, we have been able to rapidly put in place the required infrastructure and are seeing strong demand for our coal.”The remainder of 2017 is expected to be equally busy and we look forward to providing updates as matters progress.”.

Image result for Purplebricks Group logoPurplebricks Group PURP announces that it is formally launching its business in the US later today. In line with the region by region rollout successfully adopted for entry in the UK and Australian markets, the US launch will commence in Los Angeles, before extending across the state of California and other targeted key states thereafter.

Image result for jd wetherspoon logoWetherspoon (JD) JDW publishes FY results, revealing LfL sales up 4%, revenues up 4.1% at £1.66bn, and PBT up 27.6% at £102.8m. EPS rocketed 43.3% to 69.2p and the group maintained its FY dividend at 12.0p. Since the year end, Wetherspoon’s LfL sales have continued to be encouraging and have increased by 6.1%. CEO Tim Martin believes that comparisons will become more stretching as the year progresses, and sales, which were very strong in the summer holidays, are likely to return to more modest levels.

NEXT- Another Special Dividend As Decline Continues

NEXT plc NXT does not expect any recovery during the remainder of the current financial year despite second quarter full price sales having risen by 0.7% compared to the first quarter when they were down 3%. Retail sales for the half year to 29th July were down by 7.4% whereas Directory sales rose by 11.4% but shareholders are being kept happy with another 45p per share special dividend to be paid on the 1st November. . The forecast for the full year to January 2018 is that the decline in profit before tax will remain unchanged from previous guidance at between -13.9% to -6.4%. The problem seems to be half year and end of year sales which act as a drag on the total sales performance.

Aviva plc AV is increasing its interim dividend by 13% after the fourth consecutive year of growth in half year operating profit, this time by 11%. Sales have increased across the group with strong growth in Europe and the UK.

Centamin CEY Gold production in the second quarter rose by 14% over the first half but is still down on last year and whilst profit before tax rose from the first quarters level, for the half year as a whole it is only just over half of last years figure, at $38m. Production costs at US$609 per oz were also well up on last years figure of US$461. Nonetheless the interim dividend is increased by 25% to 2.5 US cents per share and the second half is expected to be strong with full year production guidance of 540 oz. being maintained.

Portmeirion Group PMP produced an 18% rise in profit before tax for the half year to the 30th June and gives itself a very restrained pat on the back, describing its performance as “positive”. Revenue rose by 16%, EBITDA by27% and earnings per share by 21%. The interim dividend is to be increased by 5.7%.

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CEO admits Marks Business Is Unsustainable

Marks & Spencer MKS  CEO Steve Rowe openly admits in todays strategic update that Marks business is not sustainable and needs to be built into one that is and one which will also delight its customers. If its stores in Greece are anything to go by he is dead right and it is going to take a lot of work to make them anything like sustainable and pleasing.

How can you make a profit if you can not bother to open up until 9am. when you are within 100 m. of a Lidl which opens and has queues from 8a.m. and 50 m from one of Greeces largest supermarkets which like most shops also opens at 8a.m. The M&S staff in the clothing store are so unsupervised that they go and sit on the steps outside and smoke whilst customers queue because of unattended check outs and are told if they want to be served quicker they must go upstairs. it is in the backwoods of a business that  management weaknesses are exposed not in stores within a stones throw of head office.

Food sales for the half year to 1st October did rise by 4% and made good progress but like for like sales still fell by 0.9% despite outperforming the market. Clothing and Home fell by 5.3% or 5.9% on a like for like basis. In the UK like for like sales fell by 3.0%. Basic earnings per share for the half year slumped by 90.5%, statutory profit before tax by 88%. and on an underlying basis profit before tax was down by over 18%

Punch Taverns PUB Average profit per pub rose by 4% during the year to 20th August as strategic disposals came to an end. The year produced a strong set of results but nowhere near strong enough to reinstate a final dividend. Underlying profit  before tax was down from £60m to £53m. but last years loss of £105m was transformed into an actual profit before tax of £60m.

GETECH GTC Profit before tax fell by nearly two thirds during the year to 31st July and earnings per share were down from 5.77p to 3.25p. However steps taken in the first half strengthened considerably the performance in the second half. The backdrop to the company’s performance remained challenging as oil prices remained low and volatile.

Aviva AV. is raising its interim dividend for the half year to the 30th September by 117% to 13p but it is only doing this so that full year dividends are re weighted towards the interim dividend. I winder how the final dividend will be re weighted. The full year outlook is in line.

Telit Communications TCM expects to finish the current year strongly, with double digit growth anticipated in EBITDA and earnings per share.

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Advanced Oncotherapy (AVO) – Holdings in Company



1. Identity of the issuer or the underlying issuer
of existing shares to which voting rights are

Advanced Oncotherapy plc

2 Reason for the notification (please tick the appropriate box or boxes):

An acquisition or disposal of voting rights



An acquisition or disposal of qualifying financial instruments which may result in the acquisition of shares already issued to which voting rights are attached


An acquisition or disposal of instruments with similar economic effect to qualifying financial instruments

An event changing the breakdown of voting rights : 

Other (please specify):



3. Full name of person(s) subject to the
notification obligation:

Aviva plc & its subsidiaries

4. Full name of shareholder(s)
(if different from 3.):iv

Registered Holder:

Available on Request    7,068*

BNY Norwich Union Nominees Limited  160,341*

Chase (GA Group) Nominees Limited  1,725,415*

State Street Nominees Limited   328,573*

*denotes direct interest

Chase (GA Group) Nominees Limited     561,383

Chase Nominees Limited   122,170

Vidacos Nominees Limited     313,938

5. Date of the transaction and date on
which the threshold is crossed or

14 July 2016

6. Date on which issuer notified:

18 July 2016

7. Threshold(s) that is/are crossed or
vi, vii

4% to 3% Change at Direct Interest Level (Box 8A)


8. Notified details:

A: Voting rights attached to shares viii, ix

Class/type of

if possible using

Situation previous
to the triggering

Resulting situation after the triggering transaction



of shares

Number of voting

% of  voting rights x


Direct xi

Indirect xii



Ordinary Shares   GBP 0.25


Ordinary Shares GBP 0.01



Ordinary Shares GBP 0.01








Includes right to recall loaned shares (3,720)


B: Qualifying Financial Instruments

Resulting situation after the triggering transaction

Type of financial


Conversion Period 

Number of voting
rights that may be
acquired if the
instrument is
exercised/ converted.

% of voting




78,148 *


         * Direct Interest


C: Financial Instruments with similar economic effect to Qualifying Financial Instruments xv, xvi

Resulting situation after the triggering transaction

Type of financial

Exercise price

Expiration date xvii

Conversion period 

Number of voting rights instrument refers to


% of voting rights xix, xx




Total (A+B+C)

Number of voting rights

Percentage of voting rights



9. Chain of controlled undertakings through which the voting rights and/or the
financial instruments are effectively held, if applicable: 

The voting rights are managed and controlled by Aviva Investors Global Services Limited and Friends Provident International Limited, with the following chain of controlled undertakings:-


Aviva Investors Global Services Limited:

·      Aviva plc (Parent Company)

·      Aviva Group Holdings Limited (wholly owned subsidiary of Aviva plc)

·      Aviva Investors Holdings Limited (wholly owned subsidiary of Aviva Group Holdings Limited)

·      Aviva Investors Global Services Limited (wholly owned subsidiary of Aviva Investors Holdings Limited)


Friends Provident International Limited:

·      Aviva plc (Parent Company)

·      Aviva Group Holdings Limited (wholly owned subsidiary of Aviva plc)

·      Aviva Life Holdings UK Limited (wholly owned subsidiary of Aviva Group Holdings Limited)

·      Friends Life FPG Limited (wholly owned subsidiary of Aviva Life Holdings UK Limited)

·      Friends Life FPL Limited (wholly owned subsidiary of Friends Life FPG Limited)

·      Friends Life Limited (wholly owned subsidiary of Friends Life FPL Limited)

·      Friends Life and Pensions Limited (wholly owned subsidiary of Friends Life Limited)

·      Friends Provident International Limited (wholly owned subsidiary of Friends Life and Pensions Limited)


Proxy Voting:

10. Name of the proxy holder:

See Section 4

11. Number of voting rights proxy holder will cease
to hold:

12. Date on which proxy holder will cease to hold
voting rights:

13. Additional information:

Figures are based on a total number of voting rights of 56,780,361as per the Company’s ‘Result of AGM and share consolidation’ announcement of 30 June 2016.

14. Contact name:

            Neil Whittaker, Aviva plc

15. Contact telephone number:

            01603 684420

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